What are you expect from critique?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by jekamobile, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. The question to all: why do you request a critique? Do you really want to hear the truth and improve your photography skills or this the only way how to get WOW replies to indulge your own vanity? Our friends, relatives always support us with their opinion giving us always positive feedback. This makes probably you feel that you are a good photographer. Wrong!!! I noticed many people they don't like a negative but constructive critique. That is my question: what do you expect? Or this is another way how to get anybody commented under your work? Thanks, fellas.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. When I ask for critique, I try to have an open mind. This is a public forum and there is a wide diversity of backgrounds, skills, tastes, writing ability, and photographic knowledge. So I don't have very specific expectations, other than that I'm going to get comments from a bunch of different people. It will be up to me to assess those comments, see what rings true, and hope that it leads to a better understanding of both my own work and how people react to it.

    A negative critique doesn't have to be taken negatively. It might simply reveal a way someone is seeing my photo that I hadn't considered, even if I decide I wouldn't change anything to accommodate that person's taste. Nevertheless, hearing all this can help open my eyes for future photos.

    I also try to respond to every comment made, but I think dialogues can be much more enriching that monologues.
  3. When I ask for a critique from anyone ... I am seeking insights. a sponge. When someone doesnt 'like' one of my photos and they can express the reason I find that it informs me, often more than a positive response. I also have the benefit of creating some work that is not intended to have a positive reaction. So negative is not always what it seems.
    I recently got an unsolicited opinion on a photo I posted in nw for 'armageddon'. The photo caused a strong unpleasant reaction in the viewer. In that case it was my intent so the negative reaction caused me to smile.
    There are many people who respond poorly to a perception of criticism of their work. Many see the criticism as an obstacle, confrontational and find it difficult to see it as an opportunity. The language of a good critique is a skill that few possess. The ability to hear and process a 'negative' critique is also as rare.

    Sam, i was one finger typing when you posted.
    Sorry for any redundancy...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  4. Which one?
  5. The good one.
    Nick D. likes this.
  6. Reaction. If someone identifies a reaction, I can guage whether my intent comes thru ... . When posting a critique, it's often a recognition of my reaction, combined with an analysis of my reaction as to what visual elements contribute to that reaction.
  7. Understood. Thank you for your reply. TH
    Thank you, Sam, for your feedback. Totally agree. Personally, I love if a healthy discussion is on and when your opponent reacts adequately, with respect to your opinion. The more critical reviews you get, the better photographer you become. This is a good way to learn. Unfortunately, many fellow photographers do not respond at all if the impression from a photograph is not as expected, and if a negative critique took place. That is why I am puzzled: if you asked for critique, be ready to hear bitter truth rather than sweet but false statements.
  8. The critique is the second opinion, from different perspectives. I never take this personally it helps to avoid mistakes in the future and allows takes better photographs. Also, construction review can motivate you to do a better job during processing. If I met a rude person I simply break the conversation. Thank you for the comment!
  9. ... it's the one next to the other finger on the same hand.
    Allen Herbert and samstevens like this.
  10. Thank you, Wayne, for the comment. Have you noticed when people are trying to avoid negative reviews, probably because they don't want any confrontation created by not "sweet" reaction of the viewer?
  11. Like in photography, our reactions to giving and receiving critiques might well be viewed as a matter of focus. I'd advise focusing on what works for you, the way you want to give critiques, and the way you want to accept critiques of your work. You can't control what others do. How others respond to your critiques is about them, not you.

    Critiquing someone's photo is as much for me as for them. It helps me see and understand my own reactions better when I sit down, think about a photo, and put it in writing. So, even if I feel the photographer I'm critiquing isn't paying attention or accepting my critique, I've benefitted from doing it. That way, at least someone gets something out of it!
    Wayne Melia likes this.
  12. When I submit a photo for critique, I open a door to see what may come in. The idea is to learn. Everybody here has something to offer, IMO. To open that "door", but then reject something that comes through, just doesn't make sense. When I open that door to ask people to critique my photos, I welcome any and all. Whatever they bring to the table, I accept and am grateful for. You can invite opinions, but then have to absorb what you get. If something upsets you, then maybe you aren't truly open to hearing what folks have to say. Even if something does upset you tho, it is still possible to sit back and give that some thought, and grow out of that emotion, that moment. Growth won't happen all by itself; mostly, one has to initiate, and be open to the growth process. It isn't easy, and it can be painful at times, too. But it's always worthwhile.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  13. I'm looking for reactions from different points of view. The bulk of my work is wildlife and nature, which I don't post here. I'm confident in my approach and Getty sells plenty of that for me, so I'd be unlikely to take any advice anyway. I'm almost always surprised by what Getty sells, so I just do my own thing, offer it up and don't worry about what sells and what doesn't.

    Here, I'm more likely to post something a little abstract and beyond my "normal" work. Maybe there's an crooked horizon, which I wouldn't accept in my nature work, that prompts discussion and different points of view. I try not to defend my work, but to explore other options. If someone asks a question, I'll answer to the best of my knowledge.

    I haven't posted many things here, but I try to comment with some regularity. I find that critiquing others' work is challenging.
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  14. "Truth" jekamobile

    Whos truth would that be?:
  15. Hell, yes!
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  16. The truth of live, I think. When I ask for a critique or giving it to someone, I always ask myself: does this picture look real? Is th Photographer as an artist has
    I like how Gabriel Laub (German journalist) said: "The truth always wins. For what wins is always true". Critique is not a one-way road, you always can object and/or stand your ground if you feel that something is wrong or not fair.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
    mikemorrell likes this.
  17. Does this photo look real?

    How about this one?


    Rather than asking whether a photo looks real, unless the photo is meant to be photojournalism or forensic, I ask what the photographer is going for and critique accordingly.
    And, just for balance, Picasso said: "Art is a lie that makes us realize truth."

    Photos and art can be many, many things. I try to see the photo I'm critiquing in some sort of context (especially the context of the photographer's work in general) and don't critique to a pre-determined objective standard but rather to what direction the photographer seems to want to head.
    True and fair. Also, though, critique doesn't have to be adversarial, where the critic is negative and the photographer has to either accede or stand his ground. It can be a dialogue, where each participant helps build toward a more expressive or rewarding photo.
  18. Hi Sam. Of course, I realize that the term "real" cannot be applied to all genres in photography. My apologies are here for not being clear enough about what I meant. In this topic, I was talking about landscaping as I believe I can talk about this subject at a certain level of competency. I, probably, never provide critique for portrait or reportage as I am not an expert. Only for that reason, "reality" was mentioned. Thanks again for your opinion.
  19. Yes, critiquing is challenging. That was a reason I wanted to hear the opinion from other fellow photographers: what do you want to hear when you submit your work or how far you can go when you evaluate somebody's work? It looks like that for some people request for critique is an attempt to drug attention to his work, and paradox - it was done not for the purpose of critique, but to hear again: Wow (as many people do express their opinion in social media, looking on the bright picture with exaggerated colors).
    mikemorrell likes this.
  20. Well, this is one of the most important components of anybody's learning process. If you want to photograph better you need to go thru constructive reviews of your photographs. The higher level of the reviewer the better. Thanks for your feedback!

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